McMurray's million dollar smile
What do you do when you make $1 million in a couple hours of work?
For 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner Jamie McMurray, the answer is to go shopping for a train set
Sitting at the dining table Saturday morning with his 3-year-old son, Carter, and his wife, Christy, had a brief conversation. That ended in a request.
"This morning, the whole family is sitting at the breakfast table," McMurray recalled after his improbable victory. "I asked Carter, 'what are you going to do today?'
He said, 'I'm probably going to play in my sandbox,' and rattled off a couple of random things that I already knew he was going to do. And he said, 'Dad what are you going to do today?'
I was like, 'Well Carter, I'm going to race for a million dollars tonight.' He said 'OK,' like no big deal. I'm like 'OK Carter, if we win, it's yours.'"
McMurray out-dueled Carl Edwards and drove away from the field in the final 10-lap segment.
Before going into the light-hearted story. McMurray had a much more serious tone about what most of the prize from the 90-lap extravaganza would be going toward.
"I'm going to send my two kids and probably my next child that is not here yet to school," McMurray said of what he planned to do with his seven-figure check. "Honest to God that is what I've thought about. School is really expensive and I'm very frugal, just down right tight. I've been paranoid about money every day of my life. I've looked at what college cost. It's most likely going to go to that."
McMurray has yet to win a race this season, has two top 10's and is 24th in the points standings.
He will likely have to pick up a victory to get into the 16-man "Chase For The Sprint Cup" field.
McMurray was impressive on Saturday, leading a race-high 31 of the 90 laps.
"This is just a really awesome moment," McMurray said. "This is so much different than winning the Daytona 500 or the Brickyard 400 because there are no points and I think the mentality to that last segment is just all or nothing. That was my thought process. I don't care if we wreck. I don't care what happens. I'm racing for 1 million dollars. I get to start on the front row and I'm going to make the very most out of this restart and everything that goes with this."
McMurray got the start on the front row thanks to a strong final pit stop by his crew.
McMurray entered the pits in second after Kevin Harvick over-took him for the final five laps of the fourth 20-lap segment.
McMurray came off pit road behind pole-winner Carl Edwards and in front of Harvick.
On the restart, McMurray said it "may have been the deepest" he's ever driven into turn one.
They battled side-by-side for almost three laps until McMurray got the upper hand and brought Harvick along with them.
Edwards and Harvick while McMurray pulled away, building a lead of more than a second.
McMurray was never challenged in the final five laps and had a final victory margin of 0.696 seconds over Harvick.
"Those three or four laps are three or four of the hardest laps I've ever driven in my racing career," McMurray said. "I have such a clear vision of those three or four laps with the 99 car on the inside of me. It's what we wake up every single day and live for, to be put in that exact position."
McMurray hopes the victory can give his team some momentum for a push as they enter the mid-point of the regular season.
That push begins with Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 back at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where McMurray recorded the first victory of his career.